Meet Luke… Our Hidden Hero

The 29th of September 2021 marks #HiddenHeroesDay, where we celebrate and thank the often, unsung ‘Hidden Heroes’ across the custodial and community justice estate, who work tirelessly, especially during the covid-19 outbreak.  It’s an opportunity to show them that, while they may be largely hidden from public view, they’re not forgotten, and that the people who know them best, truly appreciate all they’ve done, and continue to do.

Despite their huge contribution and incredible efforts in supporting those within our justice system, Prison Officers, Probation Officers and Staff often go unnoticed, so to recognise the amazing work they have done and continue to do, we wanted to put in some of these amazing people in the spotlight.

Luke, who works as a Prison Officer, is a Hidden Hero. We’ve asked Luke a couple of questions about working for the Prison and Probation service:

Why did you become a Prison Officer?

To be part of a team which is more like a family, and to be able to help people through their troubles by using my own life experiences where possible.

Do you recall your first days in the role? What were your initial thoughts?

What have I let myself in for? I must be crazy to be doing this! Why am I putting myself into this position so willingly?

What is the best thing about being a Prison Officer?

When you can see the positive impact you have personally had on someone’s life. Seeing someone, who may have had a troubled life, mature and grow up within themselves.

If in any way, how would you say your experiences in your role have changed you?

Built my confidence in challenging and high pressure situations. I now know that whatever life throws at me, I will be able to stand up to it and overcome any obstacle.

Tell us about your proudest moment during your role?

When a prisoner whom I knew for around 2 years spoke to me prior to his release, and thanked me personally for the help and support I had given him when he was going through some rough times, and for not being judgemental during his “weaker” times when he was going through substance misuse. I knew then that it was the little things I was doing that were making the biggest difference.

What would you tell someone who was thinking about a role within the sector?

Go for it. It’s a job like no other, where no two days are the same. The team you work with – whether other officers, non-uniformed or SMT – all become like a second family which makes the job what it is.

Show your support

To pay tribute to those hidden heroes working within prisons, probation and youth justice services across the, you can donate money to Mental Health UK.  With around one in four people experiencing significant mental health problems in their lifetime, the hidden heroes working within prisons, probation and youth services are coming together to raise money for this chosen charity

Additionally, if you work in the sector, or would like to support those that do, you can take part in a #HiddenHeroes Charity Challenge!  Find out how here:

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